Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Middle South

May, 2010
Regional Report

Shows & Events

Atlanta Garden Tour
The Georgia Perennial Plant Association's 2010 garden tour, "The Exuberant Garden: Creating Joyous Spaces", will be held June 6 & 7. The gardens will be open Friday from 10 am to 5 pm, and Saturday from 11 am to 4 pm. Locations include Decatur, Druid Hills, Buckhead, and Sandy Springs. The tour is free for GPPA members or $20 for the general public. For garden specifics and updates visit the Web site at

Favorite or New Plant

Peonies, a garden classic, are more beautiful than ever this spring because of winter's unusually long chill period. My very favorite is 'Festiva Maxima,' a double flowering cultivar with pure white petals dotted with kisses of crimson red. The plant is a stately 34-38 inches tall, foliage is glossy green, and flowers are sweetly fragrant.

Peonies are easy to grow, but sometimes slow to establish. They require full sun and rich, well-drained, slightly acidic soil (pH of 6.5 to 7). For best results, amend soils, especially heavy clay, with organic matter such as compost, leaf mold, or well-rotted manure.

If peonies fail to flower, they may be planted too deeply, as root divisions should be placed just an inch below the soil surface. Other issues that may effect bloom include excess nitrogen, phosphorus or potassium deficiency, limited sunlight, overcrowding, lack of winter chilling, late freezes, or root competition from nearby plants.


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